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I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

Posted by Chris A on 6/14/03 at 02:30 (121836)

i have had a burning, kind of pinpricking pain in my feet for the past 6 months, i work at a convenience store and am standing up all day, the pain gets worse during the day and its so bad i cant barely stand at the end of the day. The doctors told me it was TTS, but i want to ask you guys you seem to know a lot about it, they did the test on me and it sent shocks up my foot, so im guessing it is.. they suggested heel cups (feet hurt more) or surgery, i go back in on Monday.. heres a few questions i have...

how much does the surgery cost (i live in maine, its probably different for each place, but im looking for ballpark figure) i have no insurance :(

how long does it take to heal, would i have to quit my job to heal up from it? is it impossible to walk after for a period of time, whats the whole recovery process, my doc said 2-3 weeks, is that right?

and just basically any other information about TTS you guys can share, personal experiences, just looking for a little support i guess i dont know anyone else with this condition and cant really explain it to people, they think im a wuss or something, so can you guys help? Thanx in advance.


Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

Chris A on 6/14/03 at 02:59 (121838)

forgot to give you guys some info about me.. im male, 22, im about 5' 10', i weigh 210-215 (i know thats a lot) i apparently have a very high arch, and have some overpronation, not a good combo, i know.. but im pretty sure its TTS, ive read over some of the messages here seem a lot of people have it worse then me..

btw, ive tried cortizone shots, insoles, ice, and rest, none of those have helped, and the pain is just so much its hard to take sometimes at work, and i just really want to be pain-free, i dont want the surgery, but if its what has to be done i really want all the info so i will be prepared

the compression socks seem like an interesting thing, can anyone provide a link to info on those and where to get them?

Re: Compression socks

lara t on 6/14/03 at 08:01 (121842)

The compression socks can be bought OTC - medical supply stores or probably some grocery stores. However, they also come in Rx strength (mild, moderate, and something stronger but I don't know what they call that). The prescriptions are obviously provided by the doctor - they can be filled at a medical supply store. I'd suggest asking about starting with moderate to bring the pain/discomfort down as quickly as possible (it took several weeks to get where it stabilized but I noticed a difference very quickly). I now have both mild and moderate (and a couple OTC's) in my 'wardrobe' which I wear depending on what I'm doing that day, what I did the day before. The milds come in anklets or knee socks - the anklets are thin and can be camouflaged with ordinary-looking socks - the moderates are knee-socks.

The compression socks don't work for everyone, but for me I went from crawling on the floor to stay off my feet, and the doctor waiting for me to give him a 'window' so I could have surgery, to having a reasonable life, although I have made modifications to my activity level. I don't think compression socks would be enough to let me keep a job that required I be on my feet all day.

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

wendyn on 6/14/03 at 12:04 (121858)

Chris, I have a link at the top of the TTS page that may provide some more info.

I would consider surgery as an absolute last resort. People who have things like a varicose vein in the tunnel seem to do well with surgery. Other people don't do so well. I've been on this board for years, and you'd be amazed at the number of people who are disappointed (or devasted) from the results of the surgery.

Before you consider it - I would ask for the following:

A full medical work up (to rule out diabetes, low b12, thyroid problems, or any other systemic problem)

An MRI of the ankle to see if there is anything wrong that the doctor can identify (something they can fix seems to raise your chances of sucess)

A nerve conduction test

Any chance of you taking a medical leave or changing jobs? Any chance you can work sitting on a bar stool for most of the day?

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

Scott on 6/14/03 at 12:45 (121862)

I have been diagnosed with tts and filed a workmans comp claim. After a back injury couldn't sit so was standing up all day and they my doctor scalled it overuse. The wc insurance is paying all the medical bills. This was in another state however. Good luck.


Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

Chris A on 6/14/03 at 21:57 (121890)

thanx everyone for the advice.. ill take it one by one

the socks seem as though they wouldnt be effective as the pain is mostly at work, but its been happening more and more away from work (getting worse?)

im not sure of the cause, i will talk to my doctor to see if they want to run some tests to try to find the cause so it will be more obvious.. my next appt. is monday, can you guys maybe give me a list of questions to ask my doctor and things to suggest to my doctor?

as for changing jobs/sitting on a bar stool, my boss is one of those who doesnt understand my condition, cant seem to grasp it so sitting down is out of the question, changing jobs isnt, but i live in a rural area not much opportunity to change jobs (most ofther jobs in my area would be standing up jobs)

as for workman's comp i dont know how to file one, as i dont know if the injury was caused by my job or aggrivated by it, im not sure how that works, but i dont think that will work, doesnt it have to be a job related injury, if its pre-existing, no workmans-comp, right?

i read your FAQ Wendyn, and there is a lot of good info, but im not sure of my cause.. ive tried rest, as much as i can, not much help, sitting down works but i have to sit down for a long time to feel much relief, and when i stand back up, the pain comes right back... anti-inflammitory, ive tried advil and vioxx, not much help there either.. orthotics havent helped, birkenstocks havent tried them... cortizone tried and no help, acupunture dont know havent tried that... and surgery is that last one

i dont know if i have diabetes or any of those other things mentioned...

i dont want surgery its expensive and there are some bad experiences ive read on this board worry me somewhat especially given the costs related...

so in conclusion, can you guys give me a list of things to ask my doctor, and ask him to do? a list of possible causes and things for him to check for? i really want to fix this w/o surgery if at all possible, so everything i rule out/try out, maybe i can find one that will solve the problem, and while im at the doctor might as well try everything i can..

Thanx for your past and future replies,


Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

wendyn on 6/14/03 at 22:27 (121892)

Chris - first and foremost, DO NOT mention to your doctor that you've been doing your own reasearch. Most doctors are totally put off by the idea.

You may want to say 'I was talking to a friend' who suggested that I be checked for

Low thyroid
Rhematoid arthritis
and Low B12.

Most doctors do these tests as a general rule when trying to diagnose unexplained foot pain.

If all of that is fine - most doctors will do a nerve conduction test and MRI before doing surgery.

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

lara t on 6/15/03 at 09:17 (121909)

Compression socks don't work for everyone so I'm not trying to convince they will work for you. However, the fact that your pain is mostly at work doesn't indicate to me that compression socks wouldn't work. The reason I often 'push' compression socks is they are so relatively inexpensive to try (about $20 I think) have very few side effects, and if you do get side effects (they cause additional pain for some people) it is easily reversible (you just pull the socks off - as best I understand - since they didn't hurt my feet I'm not sure, but that's my impression from people who have written in that they didn't work).

Also, it's my impression that one of the first things most doctors would test for when someone comes in with symptoms such as ours is a blood test, including one for diabetes. There are a few other things they can test for too. I think it would be worth asking your doctor for some blood work. Other people might know what tests would be appropriate in addition to blood sugar levels. Given recent discussions on this board, you might also want to check thyroid levels, although I don't understand this yet so not sure what the appropriate questions would be to investigate thyroid involvement with TTS.

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

Chris A on 6/15/03 at 23:01 (121962)

i bought some compression socks, and a magnetic ankle thing, trying those out.. i will ask my doctor about these things you all mentioned and will tell you what happens...


Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

lauriel on 6/16/03 at 11:01 (121994)

Chris like everone said please do your research and do a search on surgery here if you already havent, I 6 mo post ttS surgery and what I consider pretty well, but I can be on my feet very long,starting to do pool and bike therapy. And a RED FLAG HERE, and anyone esle who reads this, please step in YOUR DR SAYS 2-3 WEEKS RECOVERY! I would see a different Dr. Recovery from TTS sugery is months long process, If he is leading to you to believe this, something is wrong. Please do search on my name as I have posted on through-out on my recovery.

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

marie on 6/16/03 at 18:30 (122031)


Hi, You have come to the right place. This is a great group of people who have all been there before. Every one of us knows just how painful TTS is.

Is there any way you can be reassigned at your job for a while? The more you are on them the worse it is going to get. The one thing we can all tell you is that you can't keep plugging away on your feet. If you have TTS you have been DX with a serious form of nerve entrapment. Wendy and the other's have given you some very good advise.

Talk to your doctor about Neurontin. It is a medication that helps your central nervous system function with a nerve entrapment. It has helped alot of us here. I also wear compression socks, Birkenstock shoes, I take the following vitamins: C (helps with tendon pain), glucosamine, MSM, & magnesium (don't take it with Neurontin as it will prohibit absorbtion, take it about 2 hours after neurontin). I developed leg problems and take elavil (40 mgs). Deep massage of calves and feet but not directly over the tarsal area. This has helped me. You have to try things and see what works best for you.

best wishes to you,

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

lauriel on 6/17/03 at 10:25 (122097)

marie, my dentist just told me she thinks I have a magnesium defciency, does this help with your nerve problems or is that just part of your regular supplement


Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

marie on 6/17/03 at 12:20 (122114)

I have fibromyalgia. Magnesium defciency doesn't always show up when your tested for it. I started taking it after I did a bit of reading and research on Magnesium defciency and early menopause. I am also an early menopauser. Many fibro patients have some type of chronic pain conditions. Many Fibro patients have magnesium deficiency. For whatever reason magnesium seems to help with pain. I don't take a high dose...Do a little research before you begin using it.

Why does your dentist think you have a magnesium deficiency? Do you have TMJ?


Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

lauriel on 6/17/03 at 13:46 (122129)

Marie, because I have senstive teeth, and then she if I got leg cramps and a few other things.. I dont have TMJ. I do like to be careful on supplements since some people get on a band wagon to use certain ones as a cure-all. But one thing that does worry me I think I am getting arthritis in my hands they are so painful, the joints in fingers are in such pain this just started a few months ago, and I am only 42. I Have to use just my left hand to type and when I wake up it is the worst. I guess I better go to the Dr.

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

marie on 6/17/03 at 17:18 (122145)


I am sorry to hear about your hands.....I learned about magnesium deficiancy from a physiologist in Ft. Wayne who advocates a magnesium supplement for arthritis and Fibro. Do you get leg cramps?

You really should ask the doc for a magnesium deficiancy test. Good luck and best wishes.


Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

lauriel on 6/18/03 at 11:40 (122234)

Thanks Marie, I need to do something about my hands, and get to the Dr. it is always one moer thing!

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

Kathy G on 6/19/03 at 10:04 (122341)


I, too, have just developed arthritis in my hands, wrist and shoulders. You should see a doctor for it. I wear a support for it that I was already wearing due to tendonitis in my worst hand. It helps to get a definitive diagnosis and then guidelines on what to do and not to do. I am still having problems reminding myself not to pick up heavy objects. And when I food shop, it's a toss up. Do I make more trips in to the house with lighter bags and hurt my feet? Or do I make fewer trips and risk hurting my hands? Sometimes I just shop when my husband is home and let him bring the things in!

I have found that the arthritis, while chronic, seems to have periods where it flares up. I don't know if that's normal but that's how I seem to be.

By the way, I, too, have sensitive teeth but it's due to TMJ and night grinding. I did try magnesiusm supplements for about six months but saw little difference. That doesn't mean it wouldn't work for you. It's certainly worth a try!

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

marie on 6/19/03 at 13:24 (122356)

This is a message I got from a freind about a new book she got.
Sounds interesting and thought I'd pass it on.

This info is again from the new book I recommended 'The Miracle of Magnesium'.

Did you know that Magnesium has some very intersting blood thinning properties? This is talking about migraines. When Magnesium is low, it is unable to do it's job to counteract the clotting action of calcium on the blood. Tiny blood clots are said to clog up tiny brain blood vessels, leading to migraines. Several other substances that help create blood clots are increased when magnesium is low. (Micro-clots is a better word to describe the clotting issue of hypercoagulation)

Low magnesium promotes neurotransmitter HYPERACTIVITY and nerve EXCIATION that can lead to headaches. This could fit all of the buzzing our bodies do.

Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and allows them to dilate, reducing the spasms and constrictions that can cause migraines.

As I said above magnesium thins the blood, somewhat like aspirin, preventing the fromation of tiny clots that can block blood fessels and cause pain.

Magnesium relaxes the muscles and prevents the build up of lactic acid. I think lactic acid is what causes the muscles to be sore after excercise.

It is VITAL when treating heart condidtions.

I think there have been some conversations not to long ago on Homocysteine. Homocysteine is a normal by product of protien digestion, which in elevated amounts causes oxidized cholesterol, which damages blood vessels. For certain individuals who lack specific enzymes for protien digestion (which takes us back to need for digestive enzymes), homecysteine can become a real problem. 20-40% of the general population have elevated homocysteine and this puts you at a 4 times greater risk of heart attack. The enzymes involved in homocysteine metabolism are magnesium-DEPENDANT.

If you still haven't gotten a hold of a copy of this book, you are really missing some amazing info that so important to our improved health:}

Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

Sharon W on 6/19/03 at 14:03 (122359)


That book on magnesium sounds very interesting. I'll have to look for it in my local bookstores.

Thanks for the tip!


Re: Sharon...for you and anyone with FM or CFS

marie on 6/20/03 at 15:27 (122468)

Sharon this is a site I am using in my research for neurotoxins. I thought you might be interested in what these doctors are doing. Check under Pfiesteria for biotoxins used in agriculture: Pfiesteria


Re: I think I have TTS, can anyone help and answer a few questions?

stella on 6/20/03 at 17:14 (122475)

hey chris u are looking at the female version of you. i just had tts release surgery on may 22nd and am still healing up. I still have tingliness and numbness in my heel of the foot . But im in a splint and staying off of it with ice and elevation. I have a wheel chair and a walker. I know how u feel i worked at a convience store too. They show no support at all. I have lost my job because ive been out 3 months. Mine hurt so bad i couldnt even stand and that. Mine started with a stress fracture and i still worked with that for 6 months all and all it was almost a year before i decided to do the surgery. I wish u lots of luck. Surgery is the last resort but im hoping it works nothing else did for me. I never did try the socks but that is just a temporary relief i believe let me know..